It promises to be the mother of all period films. John Abraham is all set to star in a lavish 18th century costume drama which would give him his first chance to go back in time.
John, so far identified strictly and purely with urbane contemporary themes, is currently in full preparation for his role as the blast action hero in the Hindi remake of Kaakha Kaakha. He will start preparing for his warrior's part right after he finishes Dostana 2.
According to a source the real-life 18th century warrior's part requires John to stretch himself beyond his limits as an athlete and fighter.
Says the source, "The role needs him to be extremely agile, almost panther-like. He will have to train in a martial-arts discipline from the 18th century and also specific to the community that the real-life character belonged to." The venture, yet to get a title, is to be directed by John's close pal, Sabal Shekhawat, who has directed John in several high-profile ads. Madhu Mantena, who will produce the film, has purchased the rights of a book on the 18th century warrior. "But I can't disclose the name of the book because we haven't fully closed the deal. I've bought the rights at a huge price (close to Rs. 75 lakhs). In costume, John bears a striking resemblance to the real-life warrior," says Mantena.
John says it's too early to talk about the new project. " But I like new challenges thrown at me as an actor. I've never done a period film. It would be nice to get into that space."
Interestingly, though set in a different period, John would still be made to take off his upper clothes and fight with an adversary. Ask him about the stripping quotient in Dostana 2 and John quips, "It is so cold in London. How can I take my clothes off?"
--Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire